Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

Feel free to drop me a line with any suggestions or just to let me know what you think. Thanks!

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I want to thank you for the time that you spend here, and hope that you can find useful things here.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Can You Be?


1995 - 2010

I've had worse days in my life, but I can't recall when the last one was that was worse than today. Our beloved Keeshond, Pogo, has been having serious problems the last several months. He had lost most of his hearing, could not see for the large cataracts in his eyes, and has spent most of his time sleeping. We went out of our way to care for his needs and pay attention to him when he was up and around. Of late, however, he began to worsen and was having balance and bowel control issues. Finally, he decided that he wasn't interested in food anymore like he was. Kathy and I knew the day would come when he could not function any more, and that we would have to put aside our wants and desires in order to do what was right in terms of his daily suffering. Today was that day.

At 10:00 am this morning at the Bandera Veterinary Clinic, Pogo departed this world for whatever follows for beloved pets and family members. He left without pain and is suffering no more. It has been an exasperating and tear-filled day here at Casa Gordita, and I expect that to continue for some time to come.

Pogo was found as a young dog wandering in the country, wet and mud-coated, with no clue as to his origins. After a trip to the vet and a good cleaning up, several attempts were made to locate his owners, and then to find him a good home, as we already had a dog. None of these efforts panned out, and so we decided that he would make his home with us. He was a smart, active and playful guy, and a source of much pleasure and love for our family.

I encourage any of you who knew him to remember him fondly for who he was, and know he is better off now than he has been of late. In response to the question posed in the title of this piece:

"Can you be the kind of person your dog thinks you are?"

Monday, January 18, 2010

WSM Short Ribs & more

Another piece of heaven from the 'Black Capsule'. I happened to see some particularly meaty short ribs at the store the other day, and couldn't pass them by. Although there are but two of us, I figured that 7.5 lbs. was a reasonable amount!

I gave them a good rub down with olive oil, and then applied some kosher salt and fresh ground pepper...

I used 8 lbs. of charcoal, and 3 hunks of mesquite, lighting it off with a half-chimney of lump. After getting the smoker up to temp, on went the ribs. There was a little extra space, so 4 bratwurst and a couple of kielbassas hit the grid with the ribs.

Finally done! I used the hyper-accurate green Thermopen to make sure they were right where I wanted them - rare to medium rare.

It was really difficult not to just dig in, but I let them rest in a warm oven a bit.

Here's the sausages that accompanied the ribs - nice looking group!

These came out just the way we like them - tender, juicy and no where near overdone.

Hope you like seeing them as much as I liked eating them!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year from the Family

Years back, I fried my first turkey, and DW told me that she didn't want to do any more turkeys in the oven. Well, after today, she doesn't want those either. Looks like it's smoked turkeys from now on! I did my first turkey smoke today, with a couple of 12 lb.'ers on the WSM. Kinda gutsy as all the kids and grandkids were going to be here for chow. The birds were brined overnight, and run at 275 degrees until the breast was at 170. They were very juicy and quickly consumed!

Loading up the Black Capsule:

Ready to go:

Finished, and peeled back some skin to check the goodness:

Nothing but smiles from the "customers":

We also had mashed baby red garlic potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread casserole, and a big pot of fixed-up black-eyed peas.